Category Archives: Transmission
The transmission system in your vehicle allows you to change gears. Lower gears are power gears. They get your vehicle moving and get it up hills. Higher gears get the vehicle up to speed and get it rolling faster. If you have a standard transmission, then you have to do the work of shifting gears yourself. But with an automatic transmission, the vehicle shifts gears on its own. It automatically starts out in low gear and automatically shifts to high gears as it gets rolling. Again, it will automatically shift to a lower gear to climb hills or when you need a burst of speed.
How does it know when to change gears? Today’s automatic transmissions are computer-controlled. The computer gathers information about what the vehicle is doing, and changes the gears as needed.
Automatic transmissions are becoming more sophisticated all the time. More gears, or “speeds” are being added. Almost all vehicles have four at least speeds. Five or six is common. Some auto manufacturers are even increasing to seven or eight – up to ten. Adding gears has a lot of advantages for Des Moines auto owners: it improves fuel efficiency and increases performance.
But there is a drawback for Des Moines motorists: more gears equals more parts and a more complex transmission system. Plus, all those parts need to fit into the same space as older, less complex transmissions. This means that today’s transmissions are engineered to much tighter tolerances. In other words, they demand meticulous care from Des Moines car owners. Transmissions are designed for durability. But that durability can be compromised if they aren’t given proper care.
That’s why changing transmission fluid is such a critical part of preventive maintenance for Des Moines auto owners. Transmission fluid lubricates the transmission and keeps it in good working order. But if the fluid runs low, transmission parts will wear out quickly or suffer pricey damage due to increased friction. The transmission can even fail.
Dirty transmission fluid can clog the small passageways in the transmission, blocking lubricant from reaching all of its parts. Again, this can lead to increased wear, damage or failure.
New transmissions aren’t cheap. Repairing them isn’t cheap either. But changing transmission fluid is fairly inexpensive for Des Moines car owners at Des Moine BDG. That’s why responsible car care includes maintenance on the transmission system at Des Moine BDG. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that periodic fluid changes aren’t just good auto advice, they actually pay for themselves by preventing costly transmission repairs.
Most cars and trucks have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Ankeny drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Ankeny. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there’s an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you’re doing.
Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That’s what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on IA freeways. And automatically shifts back down to climb Ankeny hills, pass or start up again.
minivan automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.
At Des Moine BDG, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.
Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.
Not enough fluid can starve the transmission or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission, then the lubricant is blocked and can’t get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at Des Moine BDG see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.
And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Des Moines service center can be quite costly. That’s why car makers have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.
It’s really important for Ankeny drivers to carefully follow the manufacturer’s transmission service schedule.
At Des Moine BDG in Des Moines, we hope you never become shiftless in Ankeny because you didn’t take care of your transmission.
Let’s talk about transmission service. It can be easy for Des Moines drivers to forget about getting their transmission serviced because it doesn’t need it very often. It’s easier for IA motorists to remember to change the engine oil – you know, every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But proper transmission servicing keeps your minivan running smoothly and helps us car owners avoid costly repairs down the road.
The transmission undergoes a lot of stress. The grit Des Moines auto owners see in used transmission fluid is actually bits of metal that wear off the gears in the transmission. In addition to that, the transmission operates at very high temperatures. Usually it’s 100 to 150 degrees higher than engine temperatures. Those high temperatures eventually cause the transmission fluid to start to break down and lose efficiency.
As the fluid gets older, it gets gritty and doesn’t lubricate and cool the minivan transmission as well – leading to even more wear. The fluid can actually get sludgy and plug up the maze of fluid passages inside the transmission. At best, your transmission won’t operate smoothly. At worse, it could lead to costly damage.
When your transmission is running properly, it transfers more power from your engine to the drive wheels, and improves . That’s why auto manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid at regular intervals. Your owner’s manual has a schedule for transmission service and, of course, your helpful Des Moine BDG service professional can tell you what your auto maker recommends.
Hot and dusty Des Moines area conditions; towing, hauling, stop and go driving and jackrabbit starts all increase the load on the transmission and its internal temperature. That means Des Moines motorists with these types of transmission requirements need to change the fluid more often. A good rule of thumb is every 35,000 miles, 55,000 kilometers or two years. If your car maker suggests more frequent intervals or if you’re driving under severe service conditions around Altoona, you will need to change it more often.
Most Des Moines auto service centers (including Des Moine BDG) have the ability to perform a transmission service while you wait and the cost is quite reasonable. It’s downright cheap when you think about how much a major transmission repair can cost! Your helpful Des Moine BDG service specialist will know the right type of transmission fluid to use. If it’s getting to be time to have your transmission serviced, do your minivan a favor and have it done. If not this time, then on your next service stop.